A heated Donald Trump said in a statement Friday that Gen. Mark Milley should be “impeached” if reports are true that Milley feared that the former president could have been plotting a coup to stay in the White House.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was worried about a “Reichstag moment” in America, referring to Adolf Hitler’s and the Nazis’ power grab in Germany, according to the forthcoming book “I Alone Can Fix It,” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
Trump and his supporters “may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” Milley reportedly told his deputies. He vowed to military officers and law enforcement leaders before Joe Biden’s inauguration: “We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in,” according to the book, which goes on sale Tuesday.
Trump called the report “fake news,” adding that if “‘General Milley’ … said what was reported perhaps [he] should be impeached, or court-martialed and tried.”
Generals are not impeached, unlike Trump, who has been impeached twice.
Trump insisted: “There was no talk of a coup, there was no coup, it all never happened, and it’s just a waste of words by fake writers and a general who didn’t have a clue.”
It was the second time Trump denied he was cooking up a coup. He said in a statement Thursday: “One of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.” Trump also insisted that he’s “not into coups,” even though just days ago he hailed participants in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection as “great people.”
Trump also attacked Milley on Friday for “how he handled himself during our little walk to the church.”
Milley, dressed in military fatigues, joined Trump, then-Attorney General William Barr and other administration officials in an infamous walk last summer from the White House, across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Episcopal Church after activists who’d been peacefully protesting the murders of George Floyd and other Black Americans were violently cleared out by law enforcement. Trump then posed with a Bible in front of the historic church.
Milley later apologized for joining the group, calling it a “mistake” because it “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
Trump on Thursday said Milley “choked like a dog in front of the Fake News” when he was challenged for joining Trump that day.
Milley hasn’t commented on the book’s account that he was fearful of a Trump-launched coup.